It can be easy to panic if you are struggling to meet debt repayments.
But while it may seem impossible to get back on track, there's always a route to dealing with financial difficulties.
Here is our guide to coping with loan repayments during times of financial difficulty.
If you can't pay back your loan
Perhaps you've lost your job, or gone through a family crisis, leaving you unable to meet your financial commitments. But whatever the reason, you might not know where to go for help or who to talk to.
As soon as you realise you're going to be unable to pay back your loan or meet repayments, talk to your lender about your difficulties. See if you can come to an agreement with them by, say, reducing the monthly repayments and spreading them over a longer time period. You may even be able to get interest and charges stop - or work out a debt plan. Using one of these, you can pay one sum of money that is divided between your creditors.
So as a first step it's always wise to talk to the people you owe money to, and explain your situation. They should be happy that you have contacted them and will work with you to create a repayment plan to suit you.
If you are struggling to pay bills and loan repayments, make sure you get help quickly, and put a break on your spending. It's easy for debts to build up and become even harder to pay if you don't take action as soon as possible.
Work out a budget
Draw up a budget by listing your outgoings and see what areas of spending you can cut back on. This will help you rein in your spending and take control of your finances.
Remember that for secured loans or mortgages, you risk losing your home if you don't keep up repayments.
Then, prioritise your debt. So pay yourself first for what you need to eat and get to work, for example. When you've set aside cash for day-to-day costs you can then meet bill and loan repayment demands in order of priority.
Remember that for secured loans or mortgages, you risk losing your home if you don't keep up repayments. Similarly, you have a hire purchase agreement for a car, it could be repossessed if you fail to meet this debt.
Don't ignore your debt
There is a range of charities that will offer free advice to anyone struggling with debt. For example, these include the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) and National Debtline. Give them a call and discuss your situation, as they can offer peace of mind and guide you through the best way to cope when in financial difficulty.
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